Manor Racing for sale

Two weeks ago, Manor Racing relinquished its 10th place position in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship to Sauber when the Swiss team scored two points in Brazil. The slide down to 11th will possibly cost Manor $13.5 million in prize money and that’s a significant portion of the team’s budget.

Perhaps no surprise that the team are rumored to be on the market with a potential majority buyer in the wings. Manor CEO Thomas Mayer said:

“I can confirm that we are in discussions with a third party to acquire a majority shareholding in the team.

“There isn’t much more that I can say at the moment but these are advanced-stage discussions and I hope we will have some positive news very soon.”

The team was saved from extinction by entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick when it was called Marrusia last year but now it seems the businessman would like to sell a majority stake but remain involved according to AUTOSPORT.

Manor represent two of only three seats left in 2017 as it has not announced the signing of any drivers yet and reports suggest that announcement may not come until the sale of the team is completed.

The team took the grid in 2016 armed with Mercedes power units but the chassis failed to deliver the results they were hoping for when juxtaposed with similar customer combinations such as Force India and Williams F1. The potential new owner has not been revealed but the small teams, like Sauber and Manor, who seek investment funds for cash infusions aren’t paying the dividends the investors would like. In many cases one could argue that buying a majority position in a team like Manor or Sauber is a loss-leader and pure marketing expense that doesn’t get a lot of TV time during races.

Manor enlisted the help of former McLaren man, Dave Ryan, this season and I believe the team have been doing much better with a pace that is more competitive. There is little doubt that their Mercedes shove in the back of the car could pay dividends but they need a competitive chassis and perhaps a strategic or technical partnership with Mercedes could be an interesting proposition for both given that the team have employed two Mercedes driver development youngsters in Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon.

Sauber needed their two points in Brazil and they desperately need to finish in 10th place in order to reap the prize money reward but so does Manor. Without it, they will need a serious infusion of cash and that’s not easy to come by in F1 these days.


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Maybe Ron Dennis should look into buying a stake. It keeps him on the F1 paddock and he could help repeat the success of yesteryears. Plus it would really annoy the arabs if he jumped McLaren

Tom Firth

Yeah… When you spend more than you bring in in income, you probably want rid. Surprised it took this long. Fitzpatrick done as good a job as he could in the circumstances though.


Wasn’t there a second US based group interested in fielding a team but missed out for some reason? I think it was around the same time that Haas was looking.

Tom Firth

Was Forza Rossa. The Romanian project which may or may not of been linked to Kolles? Don’t think was another credible US potential, unless i forgot someone.

charlie white

Do you mean the USF1 project?


Given the significant rule changes for next year, what will a purchaser of Manor be getting? It’s unlikely that they have had the budget to be developing a 2017 car that will move them off the back if the field. I had high expectations that getting the Mercedes P.U this season would move them into mid field contention, but it turns out their chassis is well off the pace of the rest.

Tom Firth

That happy feeling that comes with owning an F1 team, or back of the grid racing team in general before you realise how futile it is to make it successful?


Of course, owning an F1 team must be on the bucket list of a small, but significant, number of billionaires (soon to become mere millionaires). Bernie must love them :-)

Guy Fawkes

Ok, so all of us who read the blog and listen to the podcast can break open our piggy banks then we start an IndieGoGo campaign…